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Visual Communication (MA)

Lucy Jiachun Hu 胡嘉纯

Hu Jiachun (Lucy) is an illustrator and artist currently based in London. She obtained her BA in Visual Arts from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2021. Lucy also had short study experiences at University of the West of England, Bristol and Camberwell College of Art, London. Her work is in The Keeper’s Collection at the Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong.

In October 2022, Lucy became a volunteer in the Meanwhile Garden. The Meanwhile Garden is a recovery garden to help people from the trauma of the lockdown located in central London. Her graduation work In Search of Meanwhile Garden aims to document and remember the Meanwhile Garden as a site, since the council has put forward plans to knock down the garden after October this year. 


2023  Trespass, part of Fringe Arts Bath 2023, Newark Works, Bath

2023  Inside Out, Core Arts Gallery, London

2022  Sir John Hurt & Sworders Art Prize Exhibition, Adrian Hill Fine Art, Norfolk

2022  Home | Away, The Bhavan Galley, London 

2021  Fresh Trend 2021, Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong

2021  Art of Gap, ITALIC exhibition space, Berlin 

2020  United in Bookplates, Providence University Art Center, Taiwan 


2023  New Talent Prize Winner, BIBF International Illustration Exhibition 2023 

2023  International Award for Illustration, Bologna Children’s Book Fair (Finalist)

2022  Where have all the flowers gone, Varley Memorial Award Winner, Royal College of Art 

2022  Award 360°, Design 360° (Shortlisted)

2022  Sir John Hurt and Sworders Art Prize  (Shortlisted)


I believe in the power of being small instead of being big. I believe in the power of being quiet instead of making noise. I believe in the power of healing instead of justifying. I believe in the power of the unremarkable, unspeakable, the soft, gentle and ephemeral. 

I believe in fragments, moments, and the immediacy of life. I believe in sitting down and doing nothing. I believe the time I wasted in the Meanwhile Garden can pile up and transform to compost, constantly changing and renewed. I believe in gardens. I believe the garden is not still life, it seduces you into a landscape that changes as you move.

I believe in gaps, fissures and souvenirs. I believe in diaries and memories recollected. I believe a Madeleine cake dipped in tea has the power of time-travelling. I believe in a space to dwell in. I believe in nature. I believe when I am with nature I can be the forever child, suspended in the air, never becoming a grown-up. 

I believe in the power of truthful things. I believe in meanings. I believe the Meanwhile Garden I created is a myth, a secret garden, an Eden that never dies, a legend, a dreamworld, a fairytale, an allegory, a prose, a poem, a dream, that grows from small happenings, and my imagination is the yeast. 

Humans and plants, evolving from the same ancestor yet separated. I am longing for the nostalgic reunion with you, plants. This is my Odyssey. 

The research started from my interest in the relationship between the mass trauma of Covid-19 and the healing power of nature. By chance, I got to know and started volunteering at the Meanwhile Garden, a community garden aimed to help people recover from the trauma of the covid lockdown. Four months ago, we were told that the council is planning to knock down this garden to build new council houses. Mourning about how I might lose this precious site and all the people that I love so much in a few months' time, I initiated the project In Search of Meanwhile Garden to preserve memories and happenings here. 

In Search of Meanwhile Garden is a community-based project, however, it tries to challenge the existing pattern of making community art, which is usually in the form of workshops, interviews and photographs. Out of the protection of the vulnerable people group in the Meanwhile Garden and my eternal wrestling against a flattened one-note story, In Search of Meanwhile Garden uses a plant-based approach towards making, which focuses on small happenings that happen organically. 

In Search of Meanwhile Garden is a seed that naturally sprouts from the soil. All I did was water it. 


Consists of objects I collected from the Meanwhile Garden: broccoli, rotten leaves, beans, daisies, branches, flowers that I don’t know the names of, tools, screws. I created a mobile centering with the idea of life, death, circulation and permaculture. 

Mimicking the structure of hanging toys, yet replacing the happy tokens with dead plants and objects, this installation is a sanctuary of souvenirs, a device that is constantly moving, activated by the movement happening around it.

The Meanwhile Garden is where I feel safe, it is protective yet mysterious, eternal yet ever-changing, childlike yet pagan. 


These drawings document my experience via a daily entry of small happenings at specific dates, spanning from Nov 2022 to Mar 2023. 

In November we picked beans and broccolis. In December we made pom poms for Christmas. In March we started to plant bat-attracting flowers, because if there are bats living here, the council can’t knock down this place.

For me, the Meanwhile Garden is a place mixed with a lot of things: the magical power of growing, the hilarious chatting moment, the eternally changing and evolving nature and the possible demolition in October. 

Meanwhile Garden Theme Songs Playlist:

The publication In Search of Meanwhile Garden documented small happenings in a poetic way. I hope the story of Meanwhile Garden can spread out through this publication.

In Search of Meanwhile Garden is dedicated to the wonderful human beings I met there, to over 1000 other community gardens across the UK, and to all the gardeners and citizens that are committed to growing and holding out against urbanism. 

If you are interested to purchase the publication, please feel free to contact me:


A Walk After Snow is a zine documenting a happy yet long-gone walk I took in Phoenix Farm after the exciting snow in December. Every Friday we gathered together, weeding, harvesting, feeding chickens and rabbits. On 16th Dec we gathered one last time before the new year. There wasn’t much gardening work to do in the quiet winter time, so we chatted a bit, had some tea, took some walks, exchanged Christmas gifts and then waved goodbye.


Autumn is the season of the weed. I pulled out and killed a bed of weeds. In this short encounter, every weed became a special weed, akin to  how the little prince’s rose is different from any other roses. The time I spent with each weed makes each one different from each other. 

I created an archive of all the weeds I pulled out that day. After three months, the weeds I discarded in my backyard slowly transformed into compost. 

Varley Memorial Award